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A business needs to have a strong online presence these days if its leaders want to be competitive — there is no way around that rule. Yet, not every startup and small business can afford to hire a digital marketing agency. So, how can business owners compete with little to no budget?
The answer is self-education.
Related: Udemy Addresses Criticism Over Its Handling of Pirated Content
Multiple online courses are available to teach and explain the many different components of digital marketing, and some of them are completely free. Here are six free courses from the online education marketplace Udemy that can help beginners understand online marketing.
1. Creating a website using WordPress
To have an online presence, a business must have a website. WordPress is one of the easiest blogging and content management systems to learn, and this course, within a couple of hours, will teach you the fundamentals for publishing a fully functional website.
Interestingly, this course doesn’t touch on HTML or other coding programs, but that’s the beauty of WordPress — it’s so simple to use and doesn’t require coding or other technical knowledge to create a website for your business.
For your new business with a limited budget, this tutorial can help you launch a website that fills the void until your budget allows for a fully customized, professional website to be developed.
2. SEO training course, by Moz
What is SEO? That’s a question many business owners have, and this SEO training course by Moz is perfect for those who need a very basic introduction to the world of search engine optimization.
There are several on-page and off-page components of SEO, and this course does a good job of breaking them down into very easy-to-digest explanations. If you already have a basic understanding of SEO, this course might seem a little watered down — it’s designed specifically for those with no prior knowledge or experience.
Related: Here’s What Really Matters for SEO in 2016
3. Social media marketing for beginners
Social media is the driving force today behind many businesses, small to large, and it’s a digital marketing component that you need to be deeply invested in if you want to thrive online.
This course is perfect for those new to online marketing who want to learn what makes up a successful social media marketing effort. Students will learn why social media is such an important piece of the marketing puzzle, and how to avoid the most common mistakes that tend to plague beginners.
4. A Google Analytics course for beginners
Google Analytics is one of the most insightful tools, providing valuable feedback about your online marketing efforts which can help you eliminate wasted spend and scale winning campaigns. At first look, this tool can seem overwhelming, but this Google Analytics course is a great way for beginners to become acquainted with its ins and outs.
Someone with no prior Google Analytics knowledge can learn how to set it up on his or her website, read and analyze the many reporting options available and learn how to set up and understand conversion goals. Google Analytics is a must-use tool for any online business, making this course a must-have for anyone new to online marketing.
5. Creating high-quality blog content
Having a blog alone doesn’t guarantee that a business will enjoy marketing success. After all, everyone has a blog these days. That makes it all the more important that you create quality content. You have to provide value to your readers if you expect to convert them into brand supporters and customers.
This free course dives into what it takes to create quality content that generates organic website traffic, email list subscribers and customers. It also lays out what makes content thrive on social media and how to create successful content on a consistent basis. Other tips, like how to source free images for your blog posts, are valuable tidbits that provide value to beginners.
6. Use Google to search like a professional
In order to fully understand how online marketing works, you need to know how Google’s search engine works. This course explains how to use Google to find the most relevant information relevant to your search queries.
Related: The Evolution of Important Google Search Algorithm Updates (Infographic)
Many small business owners aren’t up to speed with Google, and this is the perfect soft introduction for those that aren’t yet proficient or are even computer illiterate. With little to no computer or Internet experience, owners learn how Google works — a must before they attempt to use it in their marketing endeavors.